Sunday, November 30, 2014

Smoking Ban in China

China's capital city Beijing officials said that they are going to ban on smoking in all indoor public spaces. They are also considering a limit on tabacco advertising. 
China has its about 300 million smokers and smoking is a social custom in the country. Cigarettes are used for an ice breaking item when people meet. 
That strong habit once broke the previous smoking ban law which started in 2008. Even schools were recommended smoking to their students for relaxing, most people had ignored the regulation. 
The new law would set fines of up to $33 for a single violation as the current $1.60 fine. I'm thinking that the fines would be reduced its price and would disappear to officials pocket as a bribe. It would end up in failure again, just my imagine, though. 
A part of the fatal air pollution in China's big cities would come from the puffing cigarettes of the republic people. It might be a long way to reduce smoking in China. 

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Japanese Reporter on Trial

A Japanese reporter Tatsuya Kato of the Sankei-Shinbun was prosecuted in Korea for defaming South Korean President Park Geun-hye. He denied the charge. 
He posted an article which said the president was out of contact for several hours when the Sewol ferry disaster on 16 April killed more than 300 people, mainly high school students. 
Kato said that his article was based on a Korean news article and he just wanted Japanese people to know about how South Korean people think of President Pak. 
I think if Kato's article was against the law, the Korean newspaper writen the original article also should be accused. How come they prosecuted only Japanese reporter?
Any governments should not suppress media and people's voices. Freedom of expression must be protected under any circumstances. In addition, Korean authority has banned Kato to go back to Japan. As free world is watching the Korean prosecution in this case, I hope they withdrew the prosecution and to be free the reporter as soon as possible. 

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Friday, November 28, 2014

One Year Anniversary

Today is one year anniversary of my blog post. I've been writing a blog everyday for exactly one year. I've been doing this for the sake of my English. I want to express my thoughts, feelings, ideas, opinions or whatever about myself and about the world. 
At first, it was difficult to write a blog everyday because I'm not used to writeing anything in English. I have relatively poor English skills, so I've borrowed some expression from articles and dictionaries. I believe it might work for improving my English skills. 
Finding topics was another problem for me. To pick a topic, I would read newspapers and search articles on the web. Sometimes I choose a topic by listening to radio programs.  But now, I really enjoy not only writing in English but also selecting topics. 
Anyway, writing blog in English is great fun for me. You should try it. You'll find it interesting. 

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Thursday, November 27, 2014

Child Marriage in Africa

Child marriage is a bad tradition in African nations. At least 30% of girls are married under age of 18. The rates are even higher in some countries, the rates are above 70% in Niger and Chado. Many of them are forced to do so due to their tradition and poverty. 
Child marriage causes mental and physical problems because of young age pregnancy. They also can't get enough education. 
African Union is trying to end child marriage. They started a two years campaign this year. I don't know the details, but I think two years seems too short to end the tradition. Education for both adults and girls is the primary for reducing young age marriage. 
Old generations might hard to change their thoughts. But as educated people including girls increase in Africa, the bad tradition will come to a period at the end of the day. Education, like Malala said, can change the world. 

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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Living Funeral

When someone knows that he or she doesn't have much time left to live, a living funeral might be performed. It's not popular, though. 
A Japanese singer held his living funeral concert in September. The singer is Ogura Kei, 70. 
He sang 25 of his songs in a day and the concerts were held four days in a row. He is a survivor of a cancer, but he looks well for now. I think the experience made him to have living funeral concerts. 
I don't want to do my own living funeral, but I want to say farewell to all of my friends before it comes. 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The President Takata

Akira Takata is one of the best known person in Japan. He is the owner of a famous and successful online shopping company, Japanet Takata. I've bought some electronic products at the shop.
Takata worked for a machinery company as an interpreter of sales department after graduated from college, then he returned to his hometown Nagasaki where he started his own business.
I watched a YouTube video that Pakkun interviewed with him. They talked about communication. The most important thing for communication, Tkata said, is always to be as you are. Do not have an inferiority complex. Do not feel superior to others. If you talk with people like that way, you can communicate with others well, Takata said. 
He is definitely a great communicator. We can learn from him how to convey your thoughts and ideas to others. 
Takata has announced that he will retire from his work in two or three years. I'm really sorry for his retirement.
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Monday, November 24, 2014

It Happens

A big earthquake hit in Nagano on Saturday. The 6.7 magnitude earthquake has left 41 people injured. 
Scholars can explaine what made the earthquake on news shows and newspapers, but no scholars could predict when and where there will be an earthquake. 
We have to prepre for the earthquake any time. Of course it is necessary to store some food and water at your house, but to know what earthquake is a critical matter. That means an quake might happen on you someday, whenever and wherever. Your mind can save your life. 
Recently, many Japanese people were killed by natural disasters. Some of them were too late to escape from the dangers. For example, when a volcanic eruption occered at Mt. Ontake, some victims were taking pictures with their smartphones or cameras instead of escape to a safe place. They didn't think they were in a dangerous situation. 
Don't stay in danger when it happens.  

Sunday, November 23, 2014

A Judgement

I translated a story. 

At a night, a man walked along a street of a town, looked back now and then. Suddenly, someone stopped him. 
"Hey. Wait!", said the unknown man. 
"What? I'm in a hurry."
"I'm a cop. Money thief incidents have been happening in this town recently, so I'm patrolling here. You look strange. I'll ask you some. You have to answer my questions or I'll drug you to the police office."
"I don't want to go to police station. I didn't do anything wrong."
"That's what I decide."
"I walk awkward, but that's the way I am.", he explained. And he let the unknown man searching his clothes and pockets. Nothing had founded. 
"Ok. You may go."
The man walked away there and after walking while he met a waiting person. 
"I think it went well."
"How was he? What is your judgement?"
"He's insane. I'm a psychiatrist. I'm sure he is."
The police officer nodded as he listened to the psychiatrist. 
"I'm sorry to bother you. We were not sure if he was a gangster pretending a directive or simply a crazy man who believes he was a police man. There was no clue. Then we should send him a hospital. Thank you doctor. Our police department will pay for you...."
The end. 

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Saturday, November 22, 2014


I think using prepositions in English is one of the most difficult things for Japanese English learners because Japanese language doesn't have any of them.
Prepositions faction many ways. They describe the position of something, the time when something happens, the way in which something is done and other ways. 
Prepositions also play an important role for making phrasal verbs. I often misunderstand the meanings of phrasal verbs, so I need more practice for familiarize with prepositions. 

Friday, November 21, 2014

Committed Suicide or Ending One's Own Life

Shimane Prefectural government officially ended to use a word 自殺 or suicide in their documents in 2013. Since then the government began to use 自死 instead of 自殺. It's hard to translate into English, but someone tried to do it like "ending one's own life". Let me know any good ideas for it. 
Anyway, that was because a mother who has a son died by suicide in Shimane requested to the government to change the word 自殺 to 自死. She had been suffering to say 自殺 or killed oneself for her son's death. She preferred to say 自死 because it sounds kind to her. 
Some people have agreed with the idea. They say the word 自殺 sound hurt the relatives' mind because of the caracter "殺" that means kill. 
On the other hand, some people have opposed it because the word 殺 might prevent someone to commit suicide. 
I think the changing is ucceptabl because 自死 is not a new word but a common Japanese for a long time. And I don't think the word 殺 can prevent suicide. What do you think of it? 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Japanese English Teachers

The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology announced that most Japan's English teachers don't have enough levels of English tests results. The Ministry said teachers should require at least TOEIC 730, Eiken Pre-1st grade or TOEFL iBT 80. Only 53% of high school teachers and 28 % of middle school teachers have these qualifications. 
I don't believe all Japanese English teachers have poor English skills. Of course there are many teachers required good English skills. And there would be many teachers who never took English test. But once they take an English test, I hope they can easily pass the previous levels. 
Nevertheless I have to say, I've never taken Eiken and TOEFL, TOEIC 730 is not a level of teach English at school. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Ken-san Died at 83

A Japane actor Takakura Ken died at age of 83 on November 10 in Tokyo.
I have two favorite Japanese actors, Atsumi Kiyoshi and Takakura Ken. Now two of them have passed away. 
Takakura became famous after he acted yakuza, Japanese gangster, movies. I did not watch any of them, though. My first encounter with him was "Siawase no kiiroi hankati" and then, "Yasei no shounmei". I didn't know much about him at that time, but I was impressed his way of acting in the movies. I really like his eye expressions and voice. Since then I watched many of his movies. 
He has been acting a guy who has dark past like killed someone, involved some crimes or too strict his job. But he was honest, warm, merciful and silent in these movies. 
So many Japanese people feel deep sorrow at his death. 
May his soul rest in peace. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Japan's Maglev Train Reaches 500 km/h

The Central Japan Railway Company held the first public ride of their new super-fast train in Yamanashi Prefecture.
One hundred lucky passengers experienced utmost a 500 km/h speed during the test run. I can't imagine how fast the train. 
If the levitating maglev train line runs between Tokyo and Nagoya, it would tied the two cities in only 40 minutes. According to the company, they have a plan to commence a commercial line between Tokyo and Nagoya in 2027.  
If it realizes the two cities' residents would easily commute each cities. And it also could be a new major sightseeing spot in Japan. I would like to be on board  the floating train. It might be an exciting experience. 
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Monday, November 17, 2014

Abe Calls an Election

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is likely to disband the Diet and the election would be held in December.
Some newspapers and the opposition leaders say Abe should not use the right to dissolve the Diet because he does not have any decent reason to do so.  In spite of their critics, the day will come in the near future. 
I also can't understand why the Prime Minister would call for an election now. The only thing we can do is to judge candidates and vote in the election.
I do not think the Liberal Democratic Party has took the best directions for our nation, but we have poor opposition parties here. Oppositions should be more realistic in poritical affeires otherwise I have no choice but to vote to the LDP everytime.
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Sunday, November 16, 2014

Kei Couldn't Stop Djikovic

Kei Nishikori was defeated by Novac Djikovic by 1-2 in the semifinals at the ATP Tour Finals on November 15 in London.
"When he's playing well, I don't think anybody can stop him," said Nishikori. 
Nishikori lost the match, but the advanc to semifinals was an astonishing event for Japanese people. No Asian tennis player could ever take part in the year-end big tennis tournament before. Only the top eight players are involved the event. 
It has been a memorable and a sensational year for the 24-year-old Japane because he has risen from 17th to fifth in the world tennis rankings. And of course he almost reached one of four major championships, the U.S. Open title. 
He has made Kei fever in Japan. His models of rackets and outfits are often sold out in shops. He made Shuzo Matsuoka, a former top Japanese tennis player, busy. He even made an extra value for his favorite fish, nodoguro. 
Thanks, Kei. I really look forward to your performances next year. Get a major title!
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Saturday, November 15, 2014

Kei Goes to Semifinals

Japanese tennis player Kei Nishikori won the last match of the first pool at the ATP Tour Finals against Ferrer.
I was able to watch Kei's game only a little on a news show. He showed us astonishing play in the last game. 
Nishikori is going to face the top ranked player Novac Djokovic at semifinals. He got a victory over Djikovic in the previous major tournament, the U.S. Open. I hope he will win the next match. Yes, he has a great opportunity to get a finalist in this year-end big event. 
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Friday, November 14, 2014

Violence in Mexico

On September 26, 43 students at local teachers college in Mexico went missing. The students were heading to Iguala to take part in a protest action. The police force there attached the buses they were on board and killed six stuents and kidnapped 43 students. After that the students disappeared.
Officials investigated the incident that the mayor of Iguala ordered the attack. The officials said that the police arrested the students hand over the young men to a crime syndicate in the end. The mayor, the police and the local gangsters are all in a group there. 
This kind of violence happen everywhere in Mexico. Governments, the police and crime groups including drug cartels are deeply tied for their profits. They can kill citizens and proper authorities so early for money. 
At a rate of 61 per 100,000 people have been killed each year by criminal violence in the country. It seems like actual hell on earth. You can't hang out without paying attention. 
The Mexican president and government are trying to eradicate violent crimes especially drug related ones, but it might need for a long time because these corrupt officials and police is helping crimes. To sweep out these rotten authorities might be the first thing what they have to do. 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Xi Brings Ivory to China

A British nongovernmental group, the Environmental Investgation Agency (EIA) accused that Chinese officials traveling with China's president Xi Jinping last year purchased tons of ivory tusks illegally in Tanzania. Both countries denied that report.
Ivory trade has been banned all over the world to protect wild elephants in Africa. Despite the rule, tens of thousands of elephants are killed every year for their tusks. China is the largest market for snugged ivory tusks because these tusks consider fortune tokens for Chinese people so ivory products can be sold in high prices in the country. 
If this report was true, it seems Chinese and Tanzanian president talked about business trade including illegal ivory at that time and the Asian big country might destroy not only Asian atomosphare by exhausting polluted gas but also African wild environment by killing elephants.

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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Federer Defeats Nishikori

Tennis legend Roger Federer beat Nishikori at the ATP Finals. Nishikori has won against Federer two times, but he found difficult to win this time. Federer, the six-time champion of this tournament, might progress to semifinals. Two of four players in the first pool is going to the next stage. 
Nishikori didn't perform well in this match, but he still has a chance to be alive in this big event if he gets a win next match against Raonic. 
I hope Nishikori beats Federer in the final of this tournament. 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Abe and Xi Hold a Meeting

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping held a meeting in Beijing on November 10th. 
Before the meeting, even though Abe was a guest, he was standing and waiting for Xi in Beijing's Great Hall of the People. I watched the moment on a TV news show yesterday. I have to say Xi was too rude to greet a foreign government leader. As the whole world watching it, Xi showed the fact that he was an intolerant person. Xi even ignored Abe's greeting when they were shaking hands. 
I understand a little about Xi's political situation for Chinese authorities and citizens, but at least he had to share a welcomed atomosphare with Abe. That's the right way for a nation's leader. Or if he was too nervous to talk to Japan's Prime Minister? 

Monday, November 10, 2014

Nishikori Beats Murray

Kei Nishikori has got a good start at ATP World Tour finals with a 2-0 win over British Andy Murray. 
Only eight top tennis players are allowed to join the ATP finals, Nishikori became the first Asian player to participate the year-end big event. 
As he won four ATP tour tournaments and advanced US Open final this year, I'm sure he deserves this title. 

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Hanyu Crushed in China

The Japan's figure skater Yuzuru Hanyu, the Olympic gold medalist, crushed into Chinese skater while practicing at Chinese skating event. He hit his head and blood was shed over his head and chin.  
Despite the accident, he took part in the competition. He fell down to the ice several times in the performance, but he managed to finish his skating. He finished at second place in the competition. 
Although doctors had changed his damage before he skated, many people criticized Hanyu's team stuff because it was too dangerous to skate after hit his head so hard. 
It might difficult to withdraw the competition, but I wanted his stuff to make a decision to retreat the event. Brain damage can cause severe after effect. Hanyu is the treasure of figure skating, so he should be protected by such an account. 

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Sendai Nuclear Plant to Restart

Kagoshima governor gave a final approval to resume Sendai Nuclear Power Plant in Kagoshima prefecture on Friday for the first time under Japan's new nuclear safety law. The new law was established after the 2011 massive earthquake and tsunami caused Fukusima Daiichi meltdown. 
In my opinion, Japan should withdraw nuclear power generation as soon as possible. That is because no one can control nuclear fission and no one can handle nuclear wastes forever. 
We shouldn't cast our responsibility to our children otherwise we would be called the destroyer of the earth. 
There would be many resources for generate electricity without using nuclear plant or fossil fuels such as wind and solar power. Japanese government and scientists have to focus on to create such  alternative power generators. 

Friday, November 7, 2014

World Cup 2022

According to some sources, FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar would likely to be held in winter. That is because Qatar is too hot to play soccer in summer. 
Everyone knows that Qatar is a hot country especially in summer. Why on earth are FIFA executive members talking this issue now? 
They should have discussed this condition problem when Qatar made the presentation for inviting the event. Didn't they believe they can hold the big soccer event in summer at first? If so these FIFA executive members never play soccer in the heart. Or they didn't know where Qatar is. 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

U.S. Midterm Elections

The United States midterm elections have just finished. The general elections are held two years after American presidential election which is held every four years. 
Republicans have occupied the majority of the seats this time. President Obama will have a hard time to control the nation his left two years. 
This two years term general elections and four years term the United States presidential election are routinely taking place over 200 years since the nation was established. During the long period of the time, the political power are shifting so many times peacefully. It's a miracle. I really admire American people for the reason. Many countries sometimes get in trouble when the government power changes. I know there are many conflicts in the United States and there are some people don't like America, but the oldest democratic country always shows human's miracle to the world. 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The Berlin Wall

Today is the 25th Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall. At that time, Germany was divided into two nations, West and East. East Germany built The Berlin Wall in 1961 to surround West Berlin completely, so no one could escape from the East to the West. 
Many eastern people tried to escape from the East to the West for their freedom, but many of them failed it. Some were killed and others were arrested. After The Wall was opened, I once visited the point Charlie where many people died for freedom. I felt dizzy thinking of the tragedies when I looked around the place. 
The American President Ronald Reagan made a historic address in front of the Wall in 1987. In the speech, he said to the Soviet Union leader strongly, "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!" And it realized two years later. 
The Wall collapsed only over a night. I couldn't believe it immediately. The Eastern world looked strong enough at that era. It was the very moment I could watch the changing of the world. 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Michael Jackson

My younger son, 14, has got interested in Michael Jackson.
 I don't know where and when he found Michael's music so nice. He says Michael is the coolest singer ever. He is watching his music videos everyday. He mimics Michael's dancing in the videos like Thriller, Beat It and  Bad. He's not really good at dancing, but he imitates well, so I laugh a lot. 
He even tries to sing Michael's songs. He is a little bit out of tune, but it's ok. At least, he's got interested in English. He would study English seriously someday. I really hope so. 

Monday, November 3, 2014

IS Killed More Than 300

According to some news, more than 300 people were killed by Islamic States members in the IS ruled area in Iraq. 
There are so many events happened in the area that I can't understand thes IS related issues anymore. There are too many factors in these conflicts. I need to organize information in order to understand the issue. 

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Commercial Spacecraft Crushed

A commercial space flight company Virgin Galctc lead by British billioneller Sir. Richard Branson failed its test space flight on Friday, killing one of two pilots. 
It never been identified the reason of the crash, but some said it happened because of the changing of its fuel. 
The company has planned that they will commence its commercial space flight in 2015, and Branson and his family will be on board the first one. 
Although they already have got 700 future space passengers, the plan will be a huge set back from the schedule they first planned. 
Space flight is one of our dreams, as I understand, but I don't think it worth to risk human's life. I doubt a private company can take responsibility for such a venturesome project. 
If a government failed a test space flight like this, the dead pilot would get a higher honor from the government at least. 
It's just a bold project. If Branson wants to go to space, he should try to do it all by himself alone. 

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Ichibata Marathon

My son took part in a road race event last week. The race, the 36th Ichibata Yakushi Marathon, has 5km and 10km course. Just before the goal line, the participants have to run up 1138 of stone stairs. It seems a kind of torture. 
About 1500 people enjoyed the torturous running course. I don't want to run that course. I prefer flat one. Those runners have quite strange habit.